The days of marketing professionals learning the Four Ps in college and enjoying a long career in marketing are over. Higher education is struggling to keep pace with the rate of change in the marketing industry and businesses of all sizes and across all industries are feeling the impact
By investing in ongoing digital marketing training and the right online marketing courses, talent development professionals and marketing managers can overcome this challenge.
Rather than fighting the competition to find marketing unicorns in the job market, you can help existing employees overcome these skills gaps.
- Internal Motivation: Giving your marketers something to work toward—mastery through digital marketing training—satisfies an innate need for meaningful work.
- Critical Thinking: Having siloed marketers leads to narrow and ineffective problem solving. Creating a breadth of knowledge and having teammates with varying degrees of expertise improves critical thinking and helps the marketing department find better answers to business questions.
- Team Agility: Finding a single multi-discipline marketing hire doesn’t necessarily solve the skills gap problem. If you're relying too much on one marketer to think across the various marketing functions, business is at the mercy of a single individual. Supporting multi-discipline development with online marketing courses keeps the operation running even if someone is on vacation or leaves the team.
Marketing thought leaders stress the importance of continuous learning and an ability to adapt to industry changes. But talent development leaders and marketing managers can’t sit back and hope that self-guided learning overcomes the skills gap on its own.
To build a marketing program that supports multi-discipline individuals ready to capture customer attention, there are a few main skills talent development professionals and marketing leaders should focus on:
- Content Marketing: In marketing, content is still king. And when your marketing team knows how to create high-quality content, they’ll be able to better-engage with customers. More attention to content means more attention for your business. No matter what changes in the industry, some form of content will always be important.
- Data Analytics: Marketing is increasingly a data-driven game. However, many traditional marketers come from a creative background. Arming creatives with some level of analytical capabilities will help propel the team forward.
- Strategy: There’s so much turnover in the marketing industry. Talent development professionals and marketing leaders can counter turnover rates by giving every marketer a foundation of knowledge in strategy. The key is to foster an ability to adapt quickly rather than focusing only on particular tactics.
- Social Media: Consumer conversations have moved to social media and it’s important for brands to take part. But there’s a right and wrong way to go about it. With the right online marketing courses, talent development professionals and marketing leads can help the entire team engage with the brand’s audience on social.
- Brand: Branding means thinking about what distinguishes your company from the rest and incorporating it into every single touchpoint of the business — design, messaging, marketing and PR, and company vision. Learn about branding, how it works, and how you can build and maintain a more competitive brand.
- Paid Media: To quote notable communications professor, Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message.” This theory rings especially true in today’s complex media landscape. To increase the reach of your message, you've got to use paid advertising. There’s a multitude of paid channels available to reach your target audience with the right message, at the right time, in the right place.
- Online Marketing: Online marketing managers play a crucial role in developing and implementing an organization's digital marketing strategy. With their vital skills and tactical know-how, online marketing managers develop and implement strategies that can help take organizations to the next level.
These are just a few of the many skills that talent development professionals and marketing leaders should use to build out a digital marketing training program.
Don’t just deliver marketing training courses as one-off opportunities. Build learning paths for marketers to continuously draw value from.
One of the toughest parts of a marketing career is making the jump from individual contributor to manager. It’s all about doing two jobs at once—ensuring the success of the team while creating a winning strategy for the organization. Hiring for this position can be difficult. But with this learning path, you can prepare existing employees for the transition.
Not every aspect of marketing is digital. But no matter how you look at it, digital channels are critical to earning (and keeping) consumer attention. Just about every marketer can benefit from a learning path that creates a foundation of digital skills.
In the “content is king” age of marketing, content strategist is becoming an increasingly popular role. With this path, individuals will take online marketing courses that focus on getting the right messages to the right people at the right times.
Digital marketing has become an essential part of every company's business plan. Your team can become experts in this critical space with this learning pathway.
Attracting new customers through search traffic is a critical goal for any business. Meeting the goal requires a combination of technical, on-page, and off-page SEO tactics that traditional marketers never had to worry about. This learning path teaches marketers how to analyze and optimize websites to gain SEO success.
Andrea HollandFounder/CEO of DialedPR, public relations professional and a business builder
Brad BatesoleCMO at RentTrack, entrepreneur, startup advisor, and marketing expert
Curtis RichardsonContent producer on YouTube who makes and releases original videos each week
John JantschMarketing consultant, a speaker, and the best-selling author of Duct Tape Marketing